Local News

Cary couple try to keep teen drivers safe

Posted October 10, 2008 4:38 p.m. EDT
Updated October 10, 2008 6:59 p.m. EDT

— A Cary couple has created a program they hope will help teen drivers be safer on the road.

The Target Teen Safety program centers on red stickers that would let other drivers know that a teen is behind the wheel.

“The necessity is that the sticker is with the teen every time the teen starts the automobile,” Target Teen Safety founder Charles Benzing said.

In 2007 there were 201 fatal crashes involving teen drivers. So far this year, four students from Princeton High in Johnston County have been killed in car crashes.

Benzing and wife, Katey, are asking 10 school boards and county boards of commissioners in and around the Triangle to use the reflective stickers. The couple lobbied on Monday at the Franklin County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“This is a way for us to help protect the kids,” Katey Regan Benzing said.

Parents would be given the option of putting the sticker on the teen’s car, the Benzings said.

Teens at Franklin High School had mixed reviews on the stickers.

“It’s not really fair because if they put it on teenagers’ cars, they should put it on the elderly (persons') cars,” student Keith Zammit said.

Hannah Gallagher believes the stickers may help identify new drivers.

“If you’re down the road and people are, like, cussing because people are going slow or something, they’ll know that there’s an inexperienced driver,” Gallagher said.

Franklin County Commissioner Penny McGhee-Young said county attorneys are looking into the matter.

“If the program will work and it’s a legal program, then it’s something that I think we should consider seriously,” McGhee-Young said.

So far, no county governments have committed to the program.

“The more people involved, the more effective it will be,” Katey Regan Benzing said.